A man has been knocking on doors across Christchurch saying that he represents Trading Standards. Officers from Trading Standards do NOT make calls to people’s home other than by prior appointment. If this person calls on you do not let him into your house and please report the incident to Dorset Trading Standards on 01305-224-012.
Christchurch Needs Your Help - Super-fast Broadband
Dorset Council has money to spend on installing super-fast broadband. Christchurch and its environs (and particularly the airport that is so important to our local economy) are currently among the worst served areas for broadband.
The Aviation Business Park currently accommodates nearly 200 companies – an occupancy rate of 98%. There are 3,270 employees in total. By and large employers are happy with the site overall and the services provided but the poor internet connectivity could begin to affect their competitiveness.
It is important that people and businesses in Christchurch register an interest in super-fast broadband so that our profile is raised above that of other areas. You can find out all about this at http://www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast where it costs nothing to register an interest. We have said that we are prepared to be local champions for the cause!
CBC has combined with EDDC, Bournemouth Council (BBC) and Poole Council (PBC) to make a joint bid for Central Government funds under an initiative known as City Deal. This working relationship is referred to as involving “Combined Authorities”. It is important to note that this does not infer any form of merger, merely a work oriented linkage
One considerable benefit of this joint initiative is that working relationships between CBC-EDDC and BBC have strengthened.
The objective of the City Deal initiative is to stimulate local economic growth. Two projects have been identified: developments at Poole Port and the transport infrastructure that underpins Bournemouth International Airport.
The Airport part of the bid addresses the B3073 from Blackwater to Parley Cross as well as the internal road system at the Airport and associated Industrial Estates. The bid is currently being prepared and will be submitted by July 2013 with eventual approval due before the end of 2013.
News From The Airport
The MD of Bournemouth Airport reported passenger numbers April to October 2012 up 13% on the previous year and also over budget. Summertime aircraft load factors had been high but despite that Ryanair had decided not to operate a winter programme whilst Aer Arran had reduced their winter programme and this posed financial challenge to the Airport for the financial year to March 2013.
The forecast for 2013-14 is for no growth over 2012-13. This is in part due to Air Passenger Duty, which is enabling European Airports to gain market share at the expense of the UK. Other potential sources of revenue are being explored.
There are plans to base a Police helicopter at the Airport. Although the helicopter is believed to be reasonably quiet, it will use flight paths over the rivers and the roads such as the A338. Despite these assurances some fears over noise levels have been expressed in Ferndown, St Leonards and St Ives.
The Airport management have discussed transport links with Christchurch but the bus companies are not particularly cooperative. The drop-off charge, whilst known to be unpopular, will continue.
Outline Planning Consent has been granted for the development and improvement of the Aviation Park West site. This includes a net increase of 42,000 square meters of floor space. Work would be staged over 10 years and would include flood risk mitigation, the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and some changes to the access roads. There would be a considerable increase in the numbers of jobs available on the site.
Navitus Bay Wind Farm
CBC is preparing a local area impact analysis. This document may potentially be examined in the future by a public enquiry. This makes it imperative that the document is based upon fact rather than opinion, analysis and not emotion. The current sentiment of CBC is against the Wind Farm although no formal position has yet been adopted.
A public meeting was organized by Bournemouth Borough Council on 23rd March 2013 at the Royal Bath Hotel. The objective of the meeting was stated as informing residents, so that they could decide whether they were for or against the wind farm. Close to 400 people attended and heard a variety of presentations.
There was quite a lot of criticism of the developer during these speeches, highlighting the apparent difficulty of getting information on things such as the possible impact on tourism and questioning the accuracy of their visuals. Concern was expressed that the final layout of the wind farm in terms of numbers and height of turbines will not be known until after planning consent has been given.
A lively question and answer session followed, during which some criticism was expressed that the meeting had only presented one side of the argument (for example, the developer had not been invited). Connor Burns MP spoke out very forcibly against the wind farm and explained that he and the other local MPs would be seeking a debate in Parliament at which they would highlight the various issues with the proposed development.
A full report on this meeting and other related topics can be found at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates 2013”. In particular the objection of PCBA (Poole and Christchurch Bay association of Residents Associations) is of interest.
The Potential Rationalisation of CBC and EDDC Head Offices
The CBC Resources Committee have approved the expenditure of £40,000 (to be matched by an additional £40,000 from EDDC, making £80,000 in total) plus shared Officer’s time to further explore the option of moving all staff to Christchurch, the creation of a Wimborne Civic Hub and consequential matters.
In addition a working party comprising Councillors from both CBC and EDDC will be set up. It is anticipated that the next stage of this project will be a more detailed report to be produced by November 2013 with full implementation taking some 3 to 4years after that.
Our thanks are due to the hundreds of you that took the trouble to contact CBC and record your opinion of the plans to upgrade our local hospital facilities. Over 1,500 people indicated that they were in favour – the largest vote in favour of a planning application that any of us can remember! Also to Councillor Colin Bungey who kindly represented us when making his address to the Committee. The Planning Committee approved the plans (with some conditions attached).
New Dorset Police Commissioner
We have arranged to meet Martyn Underhill in early May. If there’s something you would like us to ask him please let us know.
Eileen Lancaster, our webmaster, has been hard at work making yet more improvements to our website. These include a search facility that will enable you to locate a topic, even if we covered it some time ago.
For new readers (and quite a number of you have registered over the last few months) the website is a treasure trove of information. Click on www.wcresidents.co.uk and then “latest updates”. In addition to various reports on specific issues the minutes of various meetings will give you a background on what is going on locally.